This follow-up to the wildly popular miniseries The Thorn Birds (based on the best-selling novel by Colleen McCullough) tells the tale of a period during World War II that was not covered in the original story. In 1943, Father Ralph de Bricassart (Richard Chamberlain) is a Catholic priest who loves Meggie (Amanda Donohoe), with whom he had an affair years before. Meggie has divorced her husband and is now caught up in a bitter court dispute over custody of their son Dane, while Father Ralph has mixed feelings about the church's response to World War II. Father Ralph takes it upon himself to help Meggie win custody of Dane, but they also find themselves tempted to rekindle their forbidden love. The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years also stars Maximilian Schell, Simon Westway, and Christopher Gabardi.